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Shostakovich: The Golden Age / Gennady Rozhdestvensky

Album Summary

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Age of Gold, Op. 22
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
The ballet The Golden Age (1930) depicts an industrial exhibition organised in a capitalist country, at which a group of Soviet sportsmen have been invited to compete. The general idea of the music is to differentiate between goodies and baddies by assigning them respectively healthy-folk and decadent-bourgeois idioms.

The trouble was that Shostakovich couldn't stop himself enjoying being decadent.

Not all the 37 movements stand up independently of the stage-action. But the finales and the whole of Act 3 are top-notch stuff, at times surprisingly threatening in tone and symphonic in continuity; and there are several movements which could undoubtedly be promoted alongside the four in the familiar concert suite (the Tap Dance of Act 2 is especially appealing, for instance). Those who know their Shostakovich will be constantly intrigued by foretastes of Lady-Macbeth, Symphony No 4 and the Hamlet music, and by the appearance of Shostakovich's 'Tea for Two' arrangement as an Interlude in Act 2.

This first complete recording is a major coup for Chandos. Admittedly not even their flattering engineering can disguise a certain lack of confidence and idiomatic flair on the part of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. But don't let that deter anyone with the least interest in Shostakovich, or ballet music, or Soviet music, or indeed Soviet culture as a whole, from investigating this weird and intermittently wonderful score. A really fascinating disc.


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Works Details

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Age of Gold, Op. 22
  • Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  • Ensemble: Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Sweden (06/04/1993-06/05/1993)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1929-1930